Thursday, May 17, 2012

Today -100: May 17, 1912: The elector’s bullet is his ballot


The London Times reports that in the conspiracy trial of Women’s Social and Political Union leaders in Britain, Emmeline Pankhurst’s lawyer, the Irish Nationalist MP Timothy Healy, quotes... someone... saying “the days are past for rioting” because people have the franchise now. “Formerly, when the great mass of the people were voteless they had to do something violent to show what they felt; today, the elector’s bullet is his ballot.” Obviously, Healy points out, this doesn’t apply to women, who are therefore perfectly justified in breaking a few windows. Then he reveals that he was quoting the attorney general, Rufus Isaacs, who is prosecuting the case but was temporarily out of the room.

The anarchist Ben Reitman (Emma Goldmans’ manager) describes how he was grabbed by vigilantes in San Diego, taken into the desert, and tortured. Pretty horrific stuff. The Citizens’ Committee (i.e., the thugs responsible) try to stop the publication of the IWW-friendly San Diego Herald and Labor Leader and threatens every printer in town in an attempt prevent news of the vigilante violence being publicized. Reitman is trying to get warrants sworn out against his kidnappers from L.A., but the San Diego Under Sheriff says he’ll ignore any warrants not sworn out in SD, where Reitman is understandably reluctant to set foot again.

The Mexican government buys three airplanes to use in their war against the Orozco rebels.

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